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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-06-22

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, June 22, 1999

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PREMIER ADDRESSES FEDERATION OF GREEK INDUSTRIES
  • [02] PM, ECONOMY MINISTER MEET TODAY TO DISCUSS TAX BREAKS
  • [03] BLACK SEA TRADE & DEVELOPMENT BANK OFFICIALLY INAUGURATED
  • [04] CHIEF PROSECUTOR ORDERS INVESTIGATION IN STOCK MARKET
  • [05] US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ARRIVES IN LIMNOS TODAY
  • [06] FOREIGN MINISTRY HOLDS CONFERENCE ON ISSUE OF TERRORISM
  • [07] QUAKE OF 3.5 RICHTER SHAKES THESSALONIKI, NO DAMAGES REPORTED
  • [08] REPPAS: TURKEY WANTS TO KEEP CYPRUS HOSTAGE
  • [09] THE GOAL OF THE GOVERNMENT IS TO INCREASE THE TAX EXEMPTIONS
  • [10] KARAGOUNIS: THE PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE INTERVENTION IN THE STOCK EXCHANGE IS WELCOMED
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [11] FARMERS AND EU COMMISSION ACCUSE BELGIUM IN DIOXIN SCANDAL
  • [12] US PRESIDENT CLINTON TRAVELS TO FYROM TODAY
  • [13] US SECRETARY OF STATE ALBRIGHT TO VISIT BULGARIA TODAY
  • [14] PATRIARCH ALEXIOS CALLED ON THE RUSSIAN SOLDIERS TO PROTECT THE SERBS AND THE ORTHODOX MONASTERIES
  • [15] THE GREEK NATIONAL BASKETBALL TEAM PLAYS AGAINST THE TEAM OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC
  • [16] MAGRIOTIS' INTERVIEW WITH THE ALBANIAN NEWSPAPER "KOHA YONE"
  • [17] CONFERENCE ON KOSOVO WILL BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI IN JULY

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PREMIER ADDRESSES FEDERATION OF GREEK INDUSTRIES

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis has underlined that the government will maintain its economic policy in order to not endanger the country's strategic objectives.

    Addressing the Federation of Greek Industry's annual assembly last night, the Premier vowed that the economic gains secured by the government to date would not be jeopardized.

    "One thing is certain. The Greek public is demanding continuation of the way forward, a sense of responsibility and hard work. It expects us to work harder, more quickly, more effectively in order to tackle the problems," the Premier said, adding that if Greece showed the same progress, then it would join economic and monetary union as planned on January 1, 2001.

    Lastly, he reiterated his plea towards the industries to maintain price freezes and declines in order to aid the government's battle against inflation.

    [02] PM, ECONOMY MINISTER MEET TODAY TO DISCUSS TAX BREAKS

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis and the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou are to meet today in order to discuss ways to bolster the lower incomes.

    According to reports, the Economy Minister is to introduce a package of measures aimed at easing taxation.

    Ministry of Economy sources have stated that the basic social provisions package, which reportedly features significant increases in social welfare spending, is expected to be unveiled along with the 2000 budget, in the fall.

    The Premier Costas Simitis, addressing the general assembly of the Greek Industries Federation last night, announced that the government will not deviate from the core of its economic policy, albeit it will proceed to the necessary adjustments where delays and postponements occurred. The Premier stressed that the Greek people demand a forward course, responsibility and results.

    [03] BLACK SEA TRADE & DEVELOPMENT BANK OFFICIALLY INAUGURATED

    The official opening of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), which embarked on its operation at the beginning of the month, was officially inaugurated in Thessaloniki yesterday by the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou in the presence of government officials from the 11 member-states of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Pact (BSEC).

    Mr. Papantoniou was the keynote speaker at the event, which also featured addresses by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis, Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Grigoris Niotis, Secretary-General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Mr. Baychev, the Governor of the Central Bank of the Ukraine Mr. Yushchenko, who is also the vice-chairman of the Bank's administrative council, and the chairman of the BSTDB Ersoy Volkan.

    In his address, Mr. Papantoniou stressed that Greece holds a leading role in the European Union's eastward course, underlining that Thessaloniki's role in this direction is decisive.

    "Our aim is to establish Thessaloniki as the center of the Balkans," Mr. Papantoniou said, pointing out that, within the framework of the 3rd Community Support Framework, the region of Northern Greece will enjoy a significant share of community funds which are expected to surpass by 50% the funds allocated from the Delors Package.

    Referring to Greece's potential role in the economic reconstruction of the Balkan region, Mr. Papantoniou stated:

    "We are in a position to assist the region's people to stand on their feet, especially following the peaceful resolution of the Balkan conflict.

    "However, the economic development of the Balkan and Black Sea regions has to be handled within the framework of their incorporation in the wider European region," the Minister added.

    In turn, the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis expressed his confidence that the BSTDB will function as a vehicle for the expedient development of economic cooperation in the region.

    Mr. Volkan said the institution should act as a catalyst in attracting foreign capital and promoting cooperation among member countries, beyond financing trade. He expressed the hoped that the bank would develop into a leading power in the region.

    [04] CHIEF PROSECUTOR ORDERS INVESTIGATION IN STOCK MARKET

    The Athens chief prosecutor has ordered an immediate investigation into all sectors of the Athens Stock Exchange, after the discovery of financial irregularities conducted by a former employee of a brokerage firm in Thessaloniki who is accused of making personal deals with his clients' money.

    The focus of the investigation will be suspect trading transactions and other criminal acts and to determine whether or not ASE staff are involved in acts of embezzlement.

    [05] US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ARRIVES IN LIMNOS TODAY

    The United States assistant secretary of Defense Franklin Kramer is arriving at the island of Limnos today for the opening of a two-day High-Level Consultative Committee (HLCC) meeting.

    Greece's undersecretary of Defense Dimitris Apostolakis is leading the Greek delegation at the annual conference, the eighth in a series

    Among the topics to be discussed will be US-Greek defense cooperation in the arms industry sector, regional security issues and the two countries' collaboration in the framework of "Kossovo Force".

    [06] FOREIGN MINISTRY HOLDS CONFERENCE ON ISSUE OF TERRORISM

    Greece's Minister of Foreign Affairs George Papandreou is chairing a meeting on terrorism today, in light of the recent statements made by Turkish and American officials who have associated the country with Kurdish terrorist activity.

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas has characterized these allegations as ludicrous and has stated that Greece will not accept any insinuation challenging its efforts to combat terrorism.

    The honorary president of the main opposition party, New Democracy's Konstantinos Mitsotakis, has said in a written statement that the Greek government should accept Turkey's proposal for bilateral cooperation in the counter-terrorism sector, warning that, otherwise, Greece-US relations could be disturbed.

    [07] QUAKE OF 3.5 RICHTER SHAKES THESSALONIKI, NO DAMAGES REPORTED

    An earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale shook Thessaloniki at 1.34 a.m. today, although no damages were reported.

    Seismologists at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki have characterized the tremor, whose epicenter was located in the region of Thermi, as an isolated event that doesn't seem to bear aftershocks.

    [08] REPPAS: TURKEY WANTS TO KEEP CYPRUS HOSTAGE

    It is encouraging that the international community deals with the Cyprus problem, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas and stressed that the G-8 proposal can give fruit and bring a solution.

    He underlined, however, that Turkey with the position it has adopted wants to keep Cyprus its hostage and added that the international community will not allow this to happen. Mr. Reppas stated that Turkey must comply and for as long as it does not do this it should be dealt with as a country outside the international legality.

    [09] THE GOAL OF THE GOVERNMENT IS TO INCREASE THE TAX EXEMPTIONS

    Minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou submitted the proposals for the reform of the taxation system in the meeting he had with prime minister Kostas Simitis.

    In statements he made to journalists, Mr. Papantoniou stressed that those proposals move toward the direction of removing the economic burden from low and medium income groups. The goal of the government is to increase the tax allowance aiming at achieving a combination of effectiveness and sensitivity in the economic policy.

    On the prosecutor's office intervention regarding the operation of the Athens Stock Exchange, the minister of national economy stated that every investigation is welcomed and justice is doing its duty.

    [10] KARAGOUNIS: THE PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE INTERVENTION IN THE STOCK EXCHANGE IS WELCOMED

    The chairman of the Small Shareholders Association characterized as welcomed the prosecutor's office intervention in the Athens Stock Exchange. Mr. Karagounis admitted that there are certain firms that have excessive gains and they should be under investigation. He stressed, however, that there is no reason for a widespread concern among investors and added that the overwhelming majority of the firms in the stock exchange are "healthy".

    It should be reminded that an Athens prosecutor has ordered an investigation in the Stock Exchange for possible illegal transactions and other criminal acts.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [11] FARMERS AND EU COMMISSION ACCUSE BELGIUM IN DIOXIN SCANDAL

    Belgium was under attack on several fronts yesterday, as an agricultural protest followed the start of proceedings by the European Commission (EC) against Brussels over its dioxin-tainted food scare.

    According to the French news agency AFP, the EC began proceedings against Belgium for violating EU rules on consumer protection and information, a spokesman said.

    Commission spokesman Gerry Kiely said Belgian authorities had failed to immediately advise it and member states that traces of dioxin had been detected in human and animal foodstuffs.

    Belgium had also failed to comply in full with the EC restrictions decided on June 11 on the sale and distribution of beef, pork and dairy products, he said.

    Belgium, represented by the country's new public health minister, Luc van den Bossche, has publicly admitted it failed to inform the EC as soon as the first traces of dioxin were found in poultry and eggs.

    But it has argued that the European Union's list of restrictions on Belgian products is too broad.

    In Brussels, several thousand protesters from agricultural regions presented a petition with 18,000 signatures to a representative of King Albert II.

    The farmers demanded rapid compensation, saying a total of 2.5 billion euros (2.6 billion dollars) had been lost due to bans on Belgian products, which also forced them to destroy huge stocks of food.

    The EU's veterinary committee will today consider lifting restrictions still in effect against Belgian food.

    [12] US PRESIDENT CLINTON TRAVELS TO FYROM TODAY

    US President Bill Clinton is to arrive in Skopje today, where he will hold separate meetings with FYROM's President Kiro Gligorov and Albanian President Rejep Meidani and Prime Minister Pandeli Majko.

    With FYROM being the last stop of his European tour, Mr. Clinton will also visit ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo at a camp located a few kilometers from the Kosovo border.

    Mr. Clinton is also due to address troops in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo from the US contingent base set up at Skopje airport.

    [13] US SECRETARY OF STATE ALBRIGHT TO VISIT BULGARIA TODAY

    US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is to conduct a visit to Bulgaria today, according to state television reports.

    Ms. Albright will meet with her Bulgarian counterpart Nadejda Makhailova, Prime Minister Ivan Kostov, and President Petar Stoyanov with whom she will discuss the situation in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria's application for membership in NATO, and bilateral relations.

    Ms. Albright's visit to Sofia has been postponed twice due to her busy schedule.

    [14] PATRIARCH ALEXIOS CALLED ON THE RUSSIAN SOLDIERS TO PROTECT THE SERBS AND THE ORTHODOX MONASTERIES

    Patriarch Alexios of All of Russia expressed the wish that the Russian soldiers in Kosovo will protect the Serbs from the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, rebels and assist in the protection of the monasteries in the region.

    Patriarch Alexios stated that there is proof that many Christian Orthodox monasteries have been destroyed, mainly, monasteries dated back to the 13th and 14th centuries and stressed that the Russian Orthodox Church wants the protection of both the holy sites and the Christian Orthodox Serbs in Kosovo.

    [15] THE GREEK NATIONAL BASKETBALL TEAM PLAYS AGAINST THE TEAM OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC

    The Greek national basketball team will have a crucial game this evening within the framework of the European Championships in France after its unexpected defeat yesterday by Germany.

    Its opponent today will be the team of the Czech Republic which had a surprise victory over Lithuania yesterday. The game will start at 9:45pm this evening, while earlier at 7:30pm, Germany plays against Lithuania.

    [16] MAGRIOTIS' INTERVIEW WITH THE ALBANIAN NEWSPAPER "KOHA YONE"

    The stability of the Greek-Albanian relations and the regular contacts of government officials from both countries are pointed out by minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis in an interview with the independent Albanian newspaper "Koha Yone".

    In the interview Mr. Magriotis refers extensively to the interest of the Greek government and the Greek business world for investments in Albania in important sectors such as the banking sector, the tele-communications, the energy production industry etc.

    On the issue of Kosovo, Mr. Magriotis reiterated the Greek positions and made a special reference to the need for the safe return of the refugees to their homes.

    [17] CONFERENCE ON KOSOVO WILL BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI IN JULY

    The political parties participating in the European Democratic Union conference in Paris accepted the proposal made by Greek right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis to hold a conference in Thessaloniki on the reconstruction of the Balkans and the wider region. The international conference will be held on July 1 and 2 with the participation of representatives of Balkan political parties.

    On the issue of who will be the Greek EU Commissioner, Mr. Karamanlis underlined that it has to be appointed an individual of wide acceptance and the selection should not be made based on political party criteria.


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